Don’t move. You’re in shock now. I don’t want you to feel any pain.
In a moment, you’ll begin to feel lightheaded. Then drowsy. Don’t resist. So gentle.
Like slipping into a warm bath…
— Hannibal Lecter, Red Dragon
To understand an idea, look beyond the short term to its ultimate end.
In which direction does it point?
What does it want to be?
The problem with Men’s Rights Activism is that it wants to be feminism.
If you scan through my criticism of the 1976 book The Forty-Nine Percent Majority or hunt down a copy for yourself, you’ll see that there is so much overlap between what MRAs want and what feminists wanted in the 1970s that they might as well be the same movement. They certainly move in the same direction. Feminists and MRAs both say they want equal treatment under the law. The rub, for MRAs, is simply that feminists haven’t made good on their promise of equality. They haven’t, and they won’t — because why should they? Average people (men and women alike) are not so idealistic that they would make a big fuss if the rules suddenly shifted in their favor.
The MRA movement has accepted the end of feminism and exists as Novaseeker recently put it, to make things better for men. Brett at GROIN was correct in his assesment that MRAs can only offer short term assistance and first aid. MRAs can only try to ease the transition into a world that, if men have a distinct nature at all, will ultimately favor female interests. MRAs are the best opponents feminists could ask for, because they play right into the feminist endgame.
MRAs angrily draw attention to inequities and mistreatment and hypocrisy. This is good work. Calling out liars and hypocrites is worth doing in my book. MRAs are trolling feminists, but only to make them better, fairer feminists. In trying to make things better for men, they try to ease the pain of emasculation and offer a peaceful passing into the oblivion of impotence. Nice and easy. Like slipping into a warm bath.
Speaking on behalf of Traditionalists, Brett put it this way:
Traditionalist MRAs are trying to rip out the problem of anti-male bias by the roots, while FMRAs are trying to apply symptomatic treatment. A daub of calomine lotion; there, that takes care of the itch. Have a shot glass of brandy to take away the pain. You get extra dessert tonight too.
But the problem remains. In fact, as traditionalists see it, the traditionalist solution is the one that addresses the injustices both men and women complain about — by giving men and women each a complementary, sacred role in which they have a guaranteed place of value in society.
MRAs are afraid of Tradition because feminists are afraid of Tradition. Tradition is patriarchy and honor. With honor comes the possibility of shame and dishonor. If no one cares and there are no consequences, dishonor — allowing yourself to be seen as weak, fearful and inept — is the easiest thing in the world. Honor requires an honor group, a group of men who will hold other men accountable, and MRAs are just as dedicated to breaking up male honor cultures as feminists are.
As Don Corleone noted in The Godfather, men have never been able to afford to be careless. Feminism, bureaugamy and the Nanny State offer men an opportunity to be careless for what might be the first time in history. Men are able to stop caring because they are giving up control and responsibility. They are giving up power, relaxing and chasing gratification because in a globalist society, what any one man does really doesn’t matter. In a global consumer society we adopt thin, disposable identities. We exist only as workers and consumers. In a gender-neutral, globalist world, men and women are — at least theoretically — equally disposable.
Aware that men used to matter, feminists like Warren Farrell had to invent an absurd victimology to make it seem as though men have always had it worse than women. In dishonoring his ancestors, Farrell too helped the feminist cause. (Farrell also wrote a piece for The Forty-Nine Percent Majority).
In Novaseeker’s unfortunate dismissal of the Traditionalist Right, he wrote:
First, it should be clear that much of what constitutes the “traditionalist right” can never be the ally of either Game or MRA — their goal is not to help men, but rather to erect a social/moral/political system that reflects their traditionalist ideologies, and make men confirm to their vision.
That may have been the old way.
I can’t speak for others and I don’t know exactly how I fit into the Traditionalist big picture. (Does anyone?) But I have had the reverse experience. It was my ongoing study of the concept of manhood and masculinity that turned me in that general direction. The more I talked to men and read about manhood, the more I understood that we aren’t replacing Traditional manhood with anything better, we are replacing it with a completely masturbatory lifestyle where nothing men do or say will ever really matter. Their future, the future where men have no separate sex role, identity or meaningful hierarchy of their own, will never truly be better for men. It will be more comfortable in the way that sitting on the couch, watching television and eating pizza is comfortable. The aim of feminism and the men’s movement up to this point has been to make men more comfortable with their assigned fate.
It was my concern for men and my sense of loss, the loss of masculine narrative and identity, that led me to the conclusion that tribalism is better for men than “one world tribe,” that smaller systems are better for men than large ones, and that globalism is a bigger enemy of men than any spoiled New York area Women’s Studies major or sociologist ever could be.